HyperMediaLibrary Prototype

Search the HyperMediaLibrary

Presentation Slides and Notes

A brief overview of our HyperMediaLibrary

an aggregator prototype of videos by Canadian art organizations.

The HyperMediaLibrary is a searchable dataset of over 20,000 individual videos, mostly from YouTube, aggregated from 300 different Canadian arts organizations who share their content freely online.  


The problem for Artengine

Like many small cultural organizations, even if we make great content the structure of the current media environment is stacked against us. We started this project to explore how aggregation as a strategy could help us connect to the broader Canadian cultural ecosystem and build new pathways between ourselves and others, but also offer tools for others to shape and reshape nodes on their networks.

Making and Thinking

We believe strongly in the relationship between making and thinking at Artengine, and we wanted to work on this prototype not only as a specific way to address the problem of being a small fish in an ocean of content, but to engage with the existing infrastructure and produce a set of digital objects that could be played with, pulled apart, contextualized and interrogated. Our hope for the prototype is that it helps test out the possibilities of how we work together (even when we might not know it) and provoke discussion in our community about how we use and understand network infrastructure. 

The Data 

We focused our attention on arts organizations in Canada and built our list of channels based on the open data from various funding agencies at the national and provincial levels. We began with the Canada Council for the Arts and cross referenced it with other funding bodies. The Canada Council has a Category of Data called Field of Practice and we used this as a way to focus the creation of our list. 

In the Field of Practice we chose to focus on the following: Visual Arts, Media Arts, Digital Arts, Indigenous Arts, Inter-Arts and Deaf and Disability Arts.

We excluded the Performing Arts (Theater, Music and Dance) as we felt it was likely to include more actual art works (particularly during the COVID era of posting).

Two Key Assumptions

This initial approach is informed by several key assumptions. 

  1. These organizations are publicly funded and we are interested in how a strategy like aggregation might make their work more widely accessible.
  2. Most of the organizations would be using video in this context as a public engagement tool (discussions, panels, etc) and not a presentation model for artworks themselves so we are testing this idea on artist work directly. (Slide says not artworks)


The Prototype as it is includes 3 things: 

  1. A CSV file containing titles, descriptions, automated transcription and links to individual videos from several hundred different arts organizations (visual arts, media arts, disability arts, and Indigenous organizations).
  2. An online searchable set of data of the over 20,000 individual items, scraped mostly from YouTube, drawn from over 200 different channels of varying types of visual and media arts organizations/institutions.
  3. A process for gathering, presenting, sharing this information/data from the web (again mostly YouTube).